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Archive | July, 2012

The Session #66 Friday: Have fun

The SessionCraig Gravina at drinkdrank hosts the Session #66 on Friday.

The theme is The One Beer to Rule Them All.

Sorry, well not really, we’re on holiday.

Which means I’ll also be absent for IPA Day II Thursday.

Perhaps I’ll post some non-beerish photos at The Slow Travelers in the next week or so. Maybe even words. But expect things to remain quiet around here for a while.

Let’s talk goryczka (bitterness)

Polish Homebrewers Association Scorehsheet

Quick disclaimer: This post won’t be an in-depth discussion about bitterness itself, IBU, quality of bitterness or something similar. I just wanted to use goryczka in a headline. Instead, this is a copy of the beer competition scoresheet used by the Polish Homebrewers Association. It is similar to a Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) scoresheet, but the differences are interesting.

Obviously it is in Polish. Because they are good hosts, the Polish homebrewers also provided an English version for English-speaking judges (or German speakers who also spoke English, etc.) last month during the X-th Konkurs Piw Domowych (National Homebrew Competition) held at the Zywiec Brewery.

Should you not want to toggle back and forth between the two, here’s how they compare:

BJCP   Polish
Aroma/Aromat 12 12
Appearance/-   3
Color/Barwa 3
Foam/Plana 6
Flavor/Smak 20 17
Mouthfeel/Odcsucie w ustach   5 6
Bitterness/Goryczka 6
Overall/Ogólne wraženie 10

Both scoresheets list (on the left) possible flaws, but on the BJCP sheet judges simply check the boxes when those are present while in Poland they rate the intensity.

The key additions in Poland are foam (color, structure, quality, meaning volume, stability and cling) and bitterness (the intensity and quality of the bitterness).

For the record, like style guidelines these scoresheets are designed for beer competitions, not real life. Taking them outside that environment can lead to long, meaningless arguments discussions. However the influence of the BJCP sheet on the scoring matrix at RateBeer (Aroma 10, Appearance 5, Taste 10, Palate 5, Overall 20) should be obvious and the cultural impact of beer rating sites internationally cannot be understated.

They’ve got at least a few people talking about beer in a way they weren’t before. Personally, I like foam and I like bitterness. I’d be happy to see them be part of the conversation.

‘Zing, zing, zing’ went my hops

For the Love of Hops“Clang, clang, clang” went the trolley
“Ding, ding, ding” went the bell
“Zing, zing, zing” went my heartstrings

– From “The Trolley Song” in Meet Me in St. Louis, sung by Judy Garland

Today, Simon Johnson tweeted “#nowdrinking Southwold Blonde by @adnams for @marksandspencer. I rave about the IPAs; this is as good. Plenty of zing about it.”

Last month at the National Homebrew Conference during his presentation about “wet hops” Jamie Floyd of Ninkasi Brewing said what makes wet hop/fresh hop/harvest hop beers special is “that fresh hop zing.”

I don’t have a clue how to describe what “zing” tastes like, but I agree it is a good thing.

Announcing The Session #66: The One Beer to Rule Them All

The SessionCraig Gravina at drinkdrank has announced the topic for The Session #66: The One Beer to Rule Them All.

What if you were to design the perfect brew—aTolkien-esque One Beer to Rule Them All. A perfect beer for you, personally.

Then you write about it.

Session #66 is Aug. 3. We’ll be in Spain. I know, you are feeling bad for me. It’s holiday, so there’s every chance I won’t be present for this Session. Also, you probably know that IPA Day II is scheduled for Aug. 2. I’m sure I’ll be absent for that one.

Which hop is not like the others?

Obviously, a variation “Which beer is not like the others?” but with hops. The goal is to identify the outlier and explain why it doesn’t belong on the list. There may be more than one answer. I happen to have a very specific one in mind, but readers may come up with others. Yes, there is such a thing as a wrong answer, but there’s probably more than one right one.

a) Motueka
b) Liberty
c) Spalt Spalter
d) Soranchi Ace
e) Sterling


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